Wade Phillips will not be the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, although he'll never find out if he could have taken the reigns of a NFL team for a sixth time. The Houston Texans' defensive coordinator withdrew himself from consideration on Thursday and cancelled an interview with the Buccaneers' organization scheduled for Friday.
After debate among fans and media if the previously scheduled interview was a distraction or even an insult to the Texans organization as they prepare to face Baltimore in their first-ever AFC Divisional Playoff game, Phillips decided to nix the process altogether (quotes courtesy of the Houston Chronicle):
"I explained my reasons to Mark, and he understood," Phillips said. "The timing just wasn’t right. The truth is I love it here. I love coaching for the Texans. We’ve got something magical going, and we want to keep it going."
"I didn’t want to be a distraction, or a perceived distraction," Phillips said. "Even though I would have been doing it (interview) on Friday night on my own time, I know some would have blamed me if we didn’t do well and I had interviewed for the job. At some point, you have to decide what you want to do, and I just decided that it’s important for me to be here right now."
Among Phillips' successes in just one year with Houston was improving the team's overall defensive ranking from 30th to second in the NFL.